If you're a goat escaping from a slaughterhouse, try to avoid running into a former goat herder.
That's the lesson one runaway goat learned the hard way after a late-night breakout from a slaughterhouse in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y., according to WABC News.
At about 1 a.m. ET yesterday, eyewitnesses spotted something strange moving up Herkimer Street in the borough. "I was just walking across the street to get some Popeye's [Fried Chicken]. I come around the corner, and the next thing I know I see a goat coming around my way, galloping toward me," one area resident told CBS New York.
A police officer also spotted the beast along crowded Atlantic Avenue and called for backup, but even a half-dozen NYPD officers were unable to wrangle the animal. Panicked, the goat ran through the neighborhood "banging his head" against doors in an effort to evade the cops scrambling after it, according to the Daily Mail.
The police chased the goat into a parking lot across from Interfaith Medical Center, where the animal encountered Seydou Ndiaye, a parking lot attendant and, as luck would have it, a former goat herder from Africa, CBS reported. [Video of Escaped Goat Running from Officers]
"I told them, 'Do not harm the animal, it's an easy animal. It's very friendly, but it just was a little scared,'" Ndiaye told CBS.
Ndiaye quickly fashioned a lasso from rope and tried to capture the wily goat, but the escapee proved too fast even for his expert hands. Finally, Ndiaye grabbed the goat by the horns and helped NYPD officers lift it into the back of a patrol car, which took the goat to a local animal shelter, reports WABC.
Though goat meat doesn't appear commonly on North American menus, it's very popular in many immigrant neighborhoods, especially throughout Latino, Middle Eastern, Caribbean and Asian communities, according to the Washington Post.
Known as mutton or chevron when the meat comes from an adult animal (and cabrito or kid when the goat is young), the delicacy is rapidly gaining favor among chefs and foodies, The New York Times reports.
Part of the appeal of goat meat comes from its health benefits, the Times reports. Though the meat contains more protein than does beef, it has less fat than chicken and therefore is usually cooked slowly with some kind of added moisture, as in stews, according to the USDA.
And recent studies suggest goats display an unusual degree of social bonding: Not only do the animals pick up accents from one another, demonstrating an advanced degree of vocal learning, but mother goats can also pick out the calls of their kids, even a year after being separated from them.
In other words: Don't underestimate the goat.
But what of our escapee goat? In true Brooklyn fashion, the streetwise goat was rewarded for his moxie and, rather than face his end in a slaughterhouse, the animal will be sent to an animal sanctuary in upstate New York, WABC reports.